Have you received a call, email, or direct mail about a specific promotion? These are forms of outbound lead generation where businesses initiate the conversation with their target audience. Many often view these methods negatively and even outdated.
Realistically, it can still be an effective technique to get people’s attention when combined with the proper marketing and sales process and strategies. This article discusses what outbound lead generation is and how its updated version can take your business to the next level.
Outbound lead generation defined
Businesses that want to inform about their products and services are reaching out to potential customers first. It is the primary purpose of outbound lead generation, emphasising the word ‘outbound’.
Companies make calls or send information to their target audience of individuals likely to use their products or services. They intend to generate interest by mouth or through written content and build revenue.
There are other methods that fall under outbound lead generation. Besides direct calls, email marketing and snail mail, one strategy many companies have adopted today is ringless voicemail. Unlike traditional direct calls, ringless voicemail software like Drop Cowboy is a nonintrusive and personalised way to reach potential customers.
Apart from these methods, company representatives can adopt social selling, TV and radio ads and social media. Essentially, outbound marketing is a conventional marketing measure that creates messages and sends them outward to potential customers.
How does outbound lead generation work?
Businesses that want to attract specific customers involve creating customised content and digital marketing campaigns. Companies have marketing teams in charge of outbound marketing who facilitate different strategies to find new leads or generate customer interest and convert it into sales.
The company’s sales team initiates an outbound calling campaign, and marketing teams collaborate to work on specific promotions. They work together to determine buyer personas and target accounts and create a message your business uses when communicating potential leads.
The marketing team can consist of two sub-teams:
1. Outbound marketing team
The responsibilities of the outbound marketing team involve creating various strategies in great numbers to keep generating new leads for your business. They can also include more functioning sub-teams with members with specific roles to entice potential customers who might like what the business offers.
The outbound marketing team often consists of the following:
- Campaign marketers
The individuals in this team are in charge of formulating strategies, implementing and brainstorming how to make demand generation campaigns to reach sales goals.
Demand generation campaigns are data-driven strategies companies utilise to create and build brand awareness and interest in products or services. Campaign marketers concentrate on delivering conversations and content throughout the customer journey.
They’re responsible for running promotional ads on television, print media, radio, email and social selling.
- Performance marketers
The role of performance marketers is to oversee performance marketing and paid advertising. They keep themselves updated and educated with the latest trends in the marketing industry to understand products and services and research competitors.
They develop strategic skills for tasks such as setting up, managing and optimising campaigns across various platforms and channels. They also thoroughly understand key performance indicators (KPIs) metrics and evaluate them to make necessary adjustments.
- Content marketers
The primary task is to create engaging content for a target audience to entice and redirect readers or browsers. The goal is to convert them from interested individuals into paying customers. They consist of different roles that work together and do the following:
- Create written and video content
- Social media management
- Data analysis
- Gated content generation
- Editorial calendar management
- Content strategy
The marketing team fuels outbound lead generation by actively creating the voice of the business while promoting products and services. They work closely with the sales team to deliver the same message differently.
2, Outbound sales team
The marketing team is responsible for the large-scale engagement of potential customers. In contrast, the sales team’s role is to draw each lead individually. The latter utilises outbound sales strategies to achieve sales goals by closing deals, retaining customers and improving customer retention rates.
The team consists of outbound sales representatives that connect to potential leads by using different lead-generation strategies (product demos, cold calling, etc.). It’s a direct way of guiding potential customers through selling until they choose to buy the products or services. Their goals are to convert new leads into paying customers by personally engaging them.
Most outbound sales teams consist of the following:
- Business development managers
The business development manager’s responsibility is negotiating deals, making live presentations or demos and closing new businesses. Successful development managers should have good communication and interpersonal skills, sufficient business intelligence, network knowledge and negotiation skills.
- Sales development representatives
The sales development representatives research potential customers, reach out to them and use lead-scoring models to filter and qualify potential leads. These are a few responsibilities of sales development reps:
- Generating and qualifying new leads
- Delivering quality customer service
- Developing and retaining customer relationships
- Promotion of products and services
- Contract negotiation
- Achieving and exceeding sales goals
- Keeping communication with all levels of the business
The ideal sales development representative must have a comprehensive knowledge of assisting the customer by clearly explaining how the company’s solutions can meet their needs. They must also know how to build relationships, generate leads through warm prospects and find new sales opportunities.
- Marketing development representatives
They are trained salespeople who specialise in bridging the gap between marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs). The difference between them is the potential lead or customer’s willingness to buy something. The MQLs are curious and need more convincing. On the other hand, SQLs are potential customers attended by sales representatives who want to make a purchase.
The marketing development representatives will follow up with the marketing-generated leads – those showing interest, such as requesting a demo – across various lead channels.
Effective strategies to try
You can secure your outbound lead generation’s success with the right strategies. The following are a few tips you test for your business:
1. Review homepage messaging
Most successful campaigns receive a significant number of page visits. A famous teleconferencing company improved lead generation by 50%. They increased their lead generation by using their homepage’s call-to-action (CTA) in their campaign, combined with various elements such as headlines and images.
Links to your homepage will bring in visitors from social media sites, search engines and places where you’re actively posting and promoting your website. Bloggers who relaunched their websites reached over 140,000 page views within a year. Reviewing your homepage message could be a key to generating more leads.
Try tweaking your homepage by featuring five sticky posts, including your website’s latest posts. You can add a section showcasing the must-reads on a sidebar. These quick tweaks can help your visitors find the best and most recent content on your website homepage.
2. Make email outreach personalised
Personalisation is the key to success, and research is vital to determine your targeted audience’s needs in outreach emails. When creating a message, capture their attention by mentioning their latest achievement, such as a promotion at work or winning an award. Then show them how you can help them achieve their next goal.
You can draft your message like so:
‘Congratulations on your promotion! I’ve been following your company, and I am excited about your campaigns and projects in the future.
‘I would like to help you promote your products and services and call the attention of many people as possible. I have proven XYZ experience and can be a valuable asset to your business’.
3. Utilise cold calling
Cold calling is still alive and part of various businesses looking for potential leads. According to the RAIN group, over 50% of potential leads prefer contact by phone. Sales that go to the company that makes that reaches out first to the potential buyer is up to 50%. Over 71% of customers want salespeople to call them when researching ways to improve business.
Many experts consider cold calling five to ten times more effective than email marketing. It makes sense to invest in cold calling other than passively connecting to potential leads.
Calling your leads is one of the most personable methods you can do aside from meeting them face-to-face. But remember to avoid spamming your potential customers and to create personalised messages. Sparking some interest in what you can offer can help.
These are effective ways to be more likeable when calling your leads. Some consumers find cold calling refreshing as it’s a personable approach.
4. Use a multichannel approach
You can use a combination of direct and indirect communication when reaching out to your leads. Multichannel marketing allows you to engage your customers through various channels. Social media, physical shops, catalogues, ads and website content are effective ways to get leads. You can also improve customer retention, create brand awareness and follow up on the customer journey with a multichannel outreach approach.
Multichannel outreach allows you to choose which platform to use. If your customers frequent a specific channel, you can easily set up a page or account convenient for you. You can select whichever channel you want to use, such as maintaining a budget or if it works better with your current workforce.
5. Take advantage of content syndication
Perhaps you’re managing a blog for outbound lead generation. One strategy is republishing your content in multiple channels, called content syndication. In business-to-business (B2B) marketing, you can contact website owners, partner with them, post content on social media and promote your content on different syndication networks. It’s one way of reaching your target audience through strategic content distribution.
One excellent example of content syndication is when one of your blog posts performs poorly. When this happens, you can still repurpose the content as a podcast, video or short on Instagram or YouTube. You can make the best of the total value of the content with syndication.
Apart from these strategies, you can also use various outbound lead generation tools in combination with different hacks.
Outbound lead generation tools you can use
Depending on your needs, there are free or paid outbound lead generation tools available today. Here’s a list of different tools you can try:
1. Lead generation software
Lead generation software is a hybrid sales and marketing tool. You can use it to create materials to help you find your ideal customer and entice leads. Then sales will guide customers throughout the customer journey until they close a deal.
Lead generation software not only assists you in finding customers, but it also has features that can help you find the right ones. The highest-value customers are those with problems you can solve, are genuinely interested in your products and services and has the money to buy or invest.
2. Data collection tools
You use tools or devices to collect data, like questionnaires on paper or AI-assisted interviews. There are numerous kinds of tools that you can use to gather information, such as checklists, surveys and interviews.
Data collection allows marketers to understand what influences buyers. It lets you know how much power you have to convince a household or a business to buy your product or service. More importantly, data collection tools give you various information on demographics, pain points, and preferences without spending so much time.
3. Email address lookup tools
A tool or a technique in lead generation that allows you to find people’s email addresses depending on their personal information. You can search for first and last names or contact information. The tool also reveals the person’s email address. Unless stated otherwise, you can use these email addresses for marketing outreach.
4. Form and email creation tools
You can create personalised emails, which works for email marketing. Most software or apps have an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface to build HTML email forms. You don’t even need to have any coding knowledge.
You can also create customised autoresponder emails and uses your business elements, such as logo, colours and fonts, to identify your business. Some apps also have a featured tool that allows you to send recipients reminders to complete the form. You can include call-to-actions that will lead them to discounts or limited offers.
5. Landing page creation and capture tools
Landing pages aim to gather information from website visitors in exchange for something valuable. With these tools, you can create a customised landing page and lead capture forms for your business website. If you’re promoting an ebook, a sales call or a demo request for a product, your visitors can sign up for them. More often than not, they willingly give you their name and email address.
There are a few tools you can use for outbound lead generation. You don’t even have to pay to use some of them. But some features will be accessible if you decide to subscribe.
Outbound lead generation is still an effective way to promote your brand, products or services with the right strategies and tools. Businesses have an outbound sales and marketing team comprising sub-teams with various roles who work together to promote the business and connect with quality leads individually.
You can review your homepage messaging and use content syndication as a practical strategy to reach your target audience. And if you can explore tools like email lookup and lead generation software to try different approaches to do outbound lead generation work for you.